The Old Bike Week Trip took place this year throughout the South
West with 20 bikes taking part and members joining from all parts of
WA. Clive and John having rode down from Perth on their bikes to join
us at the start in Albany, and apart from one wet afternoon the weather
We rode through Denmark and Walpole, stopping for coffee before
pulling over at the Northcliffe turn-off. There Reg was having trouble
with a sticky throttle slide and decided to put it on the trailer,
fixing the problem in Northcliffe. Jim was also having trouble with his
BMW at low speed - it was diagnosed later that day as a loose mixture
The bush campsite was great with good amenities including a campers kitchen. It also included plenty of kangaroos which were very tame. We had a pleasant night under the stars, chatting, laughing, eating and drinking - which was to become a nightly event. Next morning Bob and Mary turned up for a visit on their BMW from Boyup Brook. We were then asked by the caravan park owners if we could line the bikes up for a photo shoot for the local paper.
We then headed to Pemberton, plenty of other riders were about
taking advantage of the great roads and weather. The plan was to take
the back roads to Manjimup before heading for Donnelly River and
Nannup. Most took the back road to Manjimup, with some missing the
turning - but we all turned up in Manjimup. Morning tea was followed by
a ride to Donnelly River (where Bob & Mary left us) and onto Nannup
- Again great roads, although a little bumpy into Donnelly River itself.
Nannup is like a motorcycle mecca these days and after an extended
lunch, where Des and Betty turned up we continued onto Busselton. We
were camping in what was voted the Best Caravan Park in WA last year,
and it certainly looked it too with brilliant amenities. The one
partner of the caravan park was very friendly even giving us a couple
of large packets of sausages and bread for a free dinner.
Ron Henzen was already camped there
and Des turned up on his BSA chopper - a fine looking machine. Next
morning we headed off for Canal Rocks along Caves Road. Reg was having
a bit of trouble with a leaky petrol tank and decided to return to camp
and fix it with help from son David (riding a ‘55 BMW).
By now we had decided to “Mark the Corners” so as not to lose
anyone. After a while this system worked very well. The second rider
would stop and mark the (turn-off) corner and wait till the last rider
or vehicle appeared before he rejoined the group. We then headed for
Prevelly Beach for coffee before heading inland and up to Terry
Germain’s place for a sausage sizzle and stickybeak.
I was leading the group and got a little confused with Glen Rosa and
Rosa Glen Roads, hence I did a right instead of a left and we ended
riding down some very corrugated dirt road. After a few kms I
thought, “This has got to be wrong”, had a look at the map and
realised my mistake. In the meantime Clive and Daniel had ridden past
shouting something about “Great roads!”
We turned back - except for John who was going to wait for the
pair’s return. It then started to sprinkle and then rain, which was a
shame as the road we were on was brilliant - it runs parallel to the
Bussell Hwy but inland. We were made very welcome by Terry Germain and
his mate with coffee/tea on and the sausage sizzle in full swing. $5 a
head and the money going to charity.
David and Ron arrived with Reg who had his tank to fix it in Terry’s
shed. John arrived shortly after - but no Clive or Daniel who had
decided to take a different route entirely. After a good look around
the ‘Bunker’ and filling our stomachs we headed back to camp. Thanks
Terry for your hospitality.
The rain had eased a little by now, but it continued to drizzle for
the rest of the evening so table tennis and soccer were played in
earnest in the games room. Next day the weather had cleared and we set
off to Busselton regrouping at the jetty, where the local constabulary
came over for a chat about old bikes.
Ron Henzen’s Suzuki starter motor was not turning and with the kick
starter shaft not in the best of shape push starting a bike towing a
trailer isn’t a good idea. So Ron decided to head for home, managing to
kick it over and eventually arriving home safely.
had discovered a missing clip on his chain link, and
was able to replace it straight away, picking up another spare at the
local bike shop. We then rode through the Tuart Forest to Capel before
heading into Donnybrook. The roads were fabulous, and these continued
as we took the back roads to Kirup before crossing the South West
Highway taking more back roads to Lowden and Gnomesville. The corner
system was by now working extremely well. It was then onto Dardanup for
lunch - it used to be a very biker friendly pub, but I’m not so sure
these days - we then headed to Brunswick Junction.
The caravan park was in stark contrast to Busselton, no campers
kitchen and old fashion toilets, together with high site fees, although
no regulations. On the plus side the camping site looked brilliant lush
deep grass, shady trees and right on a weir - very picturesque. On the
negative side, it was right next to a railway track - and those trains
can be bloody noisy!
Still you got to take it as it comes, and I thought our crowd were
great taking the good with the bad in good spirits. By now Huw and
Elina had arrived on the R90S. I must admit though by the end of the
second day I was starting to get used to the trains etc and quite
enjoyed the place, although I don’t think we’ll be going back.
Colin had arranged for a roast dinner for us all at the local pub
(which was only just across the road) - now this was absolutely
brilliant, and only $15. The pub really looked after us, and even
though they normally don’t cook, asked if the next night we would like
them to put on a BBQ for $13! This turned out to be exceptional, a huge
steak, heaps of good quality salad followed by a huge serving of apple
pie, cream and ice cream - yum!
Ian and Heather, who now live in the area, came over a couple of
times to visit, as well as joining us for the BBQ. Also Yvonne Hinckley
and Jan Jackson arrived from Albany to join us for the last couple of
Wednesday morning we headed off on a ride to Wellington Dam, Collie more back roads and return.
Unfortunately Chris’ Sunbeam lost power, eventually stopping. We
told the rest of the group to carry on and I returned to camp for the
car and trailer to put the bike on. After lunch in Collie we decided to
carry on with the route the group was taking, which was lucky as Garry
was having trouble with the AJS and that ended up on the trailer as
well. Ralph also needed some fuel from the back-up trailer too. We all
eventually returned to camp for a few beers before heading back to the
pub for the BBQ.
Des and Betty also headed for home with the DKW having a few
mechanical problems which have since been fixed. Next day was more or
less a free day, although most went for a ride to Dwellingup (where
Clive and John carried onto Perth), some headed into Bunbury. Daniel
decided to give the Ariel a rest and I thought I’d have a go at getting
the Sunbeam going hoping it was just tappet adjustment as there was
spark and fuel and the timing was OK. It took us most of the
(leisurely) day to decide it was a blown head gasket between the two
cylinders, brilliantly deducted by Daniel and an air compressor hose.
The AJS had rattle and it was decided to leave it on the trailer. On
the plus side it was a beautiful day for lazing under the shade of the
tree mucking around with bikes - the place is definitely growing on me
(But I wouldn’t stay there again ha ha). David had a bit of trouble as
well with the R50 BMW’s valve clearances closing. Ron adjusted the
valves on his Triumph as well.
When the rest came back it was time for a few beers sitting on the
grass before Phil and Daniel brought our take-away pizzas from the pub,
very nice. That night I didn’t hear any trains!
During one of the rides Ronnie was hit by a kookaburra which was
stuck upside down in his arm before it decided to fly away in a dazed
state - the bird that is, not Ronnie.
Friday we set off to Lowden before taking the road to Boyanup and
then Bridgetown - lovely road. The caravan park at Bridgetown was very
friendly, only charging $6 a head, they had a campers kitchen and we
decided to chip in and have a shared BBQ, this was $5 a head - a cheap
stay and the BBQ was beautifully cooked by John Barber and the salads
prepared by the ladies. We were also joined in the campers kitchen by
hundreds of creepy crawlies, whatever the things were, they had invaded
Bridgetown and every time it rained they came out.
The next day most were up early for the ride home. We returned via
Tone River, Frankland and Mt Barker.
A small group had come out from Albany to meet us but unfortunately the timing wasn’t quite right and we sort of missed each other - shame, but the thought was there. The weather had been extremely kind to us all week as most of WA had some heavy downpours. We had missed all of it basking in sunshine and good temperatures, except for the one afternoon, even coming home there was a line of black cloud and we were sitting on the edge of it missing all the rain - some parts had up to 40mm!
It was a great week’s holiday, and everyone seemed to enjoy
themselves. It’s also great to see Club members willing to take their
older bikes on a long run like this. My 1951 BMW 500 did 1200kms and I
missed out on a couple of the short rides, so most would have done a
We couldn’t have done the ride without the back-up vehicles - Thanks
Chris, Garry, Reg, Phil and Betty.
See ya next year.